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FDIC limit, Xi-Putin meeting, Trump calls for protests: What to watch in politics this week

As the Federal Reserve kicks off its March meeting, investors continue to keep an eye on the stability of the U.S. banking system.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting to discuss trade and the war in Ukraine. And Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC) stock is facing increased volatility after former President Donald Trump took to social media in anticipation of a looming potential indictment.

Here are three major stories in business and politics for the week ahead:

Lawmakers zero in on raising the FDIC insurance cap

There appears to be a bipartisan consensus forming in wake of the Silicon Valley Bank (SIVB) and Signature Bank (SBNY) failures around lifting the $250,000 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) insurance level for medium-sized banks.

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"Lifting the FDIC insurance cap is a good move," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said on CBS Face The Nation. "Now the question is, where's the right number on lifting it? But recognize that we have to do this because these banks are underregulated, and if we lift the cap, we are requiring — or relying even more heavily on — the regulators to do their jobs."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a Senate Finance committee hearing about President Joe Biden's proposed budget request for the fiscal year 2024, Thursday, March 16, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., questions Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a Senate Finance committee hearing on Thursday, March 16, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Warren suggested that the FDIC insurance increase could be anywhere between $2 million to $10 million but said that regulators need to look into it further to find the best size.

"This is a question we've got to work through," Warren said. "Is it $2 million? Is it $5 million? Is it 10 million? Small businesses need to be able to count on getting their money to make payroll, to pay the utility bills. Nonprofits need to be able to do that. These are not folks who can investigate the safety and soundness of their individual banks. That's the job the regulators are supposed to do."

That appears to be something the House Republicans are also willing to look into.

"What I will do, though, legislatively, and in an oversight function, is to determine whether or not we need to address the FDIC deposit level," House Financial Services Committee chairman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) said on CBS News's "Face The Nation," adding: "We did it after the last financial crisis, raising it from $100,000 to $250,000."

China's Xi meets with Putin in Moscow

Chinese President Xi Jinping is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

China has put forward a twelve-step program that it said would broker peace between Russia and Ukraine, but that has been met with skepticism from the United States and NATO allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony before Russia - China talks in narrow format at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Maishev/Kremlin via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcome ceremony before Russia - China talks in narrow format at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2023. Sputnik/Alexei Maishev/Kremlin (Sputnik Photo Agency / reuters)

In recent weeks, the U.S. has openly questioned why Xi is cozying up to Putin. The U.S. has also raised questions about whether China is helping Russia skirt Western sanctions.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby called the meeting between China and Russia a "marriage of convenience," as Reuters reported.

"We hope that President Xi will press President Putin to cease bombing Ukrainian cities, hospitals, and schools; to halt the war crimes and atrocities; and to withdraw all his troops," Kirby told reporters at the White House press briefing on Monday.

However, he added, "we are concerned that, instead, China will reiterate calls for a ceasefire that leaves Russian forces inside Ukraine's sovereign territory. And any ceasefire that does not address the removal of Russian forces from Ukraine would effectively ratify Russia’s illegal conquests, enabling Russia to entrench its positions and then to restart the war at a more advantageous time for them."

Trump says he expects arrest, calls for protests

Former President Donald Trump took to the ultraconservative social media platform Truth Social to say that he thinks he'll be arrested in New York City this week, stemming from a potential indictment on charges related to alleged hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

In several posts reminiscent of his call to action to march in Washington D.C. ahead of the Jan. 6 insurrection, Trump called on his supporters to protest in New York City.

Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Monday pushed back against calls to protest.

“I don’t think people should protest this, no,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters Sunday night when asked about Trump’s weekend postings.

Trump has also used the potential indictment to fundraise for his 2024 presidential campaign. The investigations on multiple fronts could prove expensive and a drain on his political war chest.

And while the move might be a fundraising draw for small-dollar donors that make up his base, it's not likely to attract big-dollar donors, who are looking at other potential Republican candidates in 2024, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

“I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair — I just can't speak to that," DeSantis sniped to reporters at a press conference on Monday in Panama City, Florida.

Kevin Cirilli is a Yahoo Finance contributor and a visiting media fellow at the Atlantic Council's Global China Hub.

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